The Los Angeles Angels will be without Ervin Santana for a while

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Injuries by chinmusic on Friday 27 March 2009 at 4:40 pm

The Los Angeles Angels will be without righty starting pitcher Ervin Santana for at least all of April with a sprained right elbow ligament. He will be missed as he had a breakthrough season in 2008 for the Angels. He pitched in 32 games (all starts) for the Angels last season and he was 16-7 with a 3.49 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. He also K’d 214 batters in 219 innings for the Angels. In four seasons with the Angels Santana has pitched in 116 games (114 starts) in which he is 51-37 with a 4.42 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. It will be interesting to see how well the Angels cope with not having Santana or Kelvim Escobar in the starting rotation at the beginning of the 2009 season.

Will Vladimir Guerrero hold up in RF for the Los Angeles Angels in 2009?

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 24 March 2009 at 8:14 pm

The Angels will likely give 33-year old righty swinging Vladimir Guerrero more time at DH in 2009 to keep him healthy. He only played in 99 games in RF last season for the Angels and he showed below average range while making 4 errors. His arm is still very strong as he had 8 assists in 2008. Guerrero’s bat is his main skill and he can still swing it with the best of them. Guerrero played in 143 games for the Angels last season and he was 164 for 541 (.303 avg, .886 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 27 homers, 91 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Look for him to have another solid season for the Angels.

Juan Rivera, Gary Matthews and Reggie Willits will all likely log time in RF for the Angels in 2009. Rivera will be the DH most of the time for the Angels. He played in 19 games in RF last season making only 1 error but he showed poor range. Matthews played in 43 games in RF for the Angels last season and he only made 2 errors while showing average range. Willits played in 22 games in RF without making an error but he showed pretty poor range there.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A

Center Field is looking “Gold” for the Los Angeles Angels in 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 24 March 2009 at 8:08 pm

33-year old righty swinging Torii Hunter is back for the Angels in CF in 2009 and that’s a sight that pitcher’s love to see. Hunter didn’t make any errors in 137 games in CF for the Angels last season while showing above average range. He’s always on Sportscenter making awesome catches and he will likely win another Gold Glove in 2009 for the Angels. Hunter played in 146 games for the Angels last season and he was 153 for 551 (.278 avg, .810 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 21 homers, 78 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. Hunter is probably the best all-around player that the Angels have to offer and he will have another good year for them in 2009.

34-year old switch hitting Gary Matthews will back up Hunter in 2009 unless he gets traded. He played in 127 games for the Angels last season and he was 103 for 426 (.242 avg, .676 OPS) with 53 runs scored, 8 homers, 46 RBIs and 8 stolen bases. He made 4 errors in 31 games in CF for the Angels last season but he still has very good range in CF. Look for his playing time to decrease if he’s still with the Angels in 2009.

28-year old switch hitting Reggie Willits will have a much bigger role for the Angels in 2009 if Matthews is indeed traded. Willits played 9 error-free games in CF for the Angels last season while showing average range. He played in 82 games for the Angels last season and he was 21 for 108 (.194 avg, .552 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 7 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. The Angels expect Willits to hit more like his career averages of .273 with a .698 OPS.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A

How will Bobby Abreu handle his move to LF in 2009?

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Tuesday 24 March 2009 at 8:01 pm

35-year old lefty swinging Bobby Abreu has been pretty much a right fielder his whole career but he’ll be playing in LF for the Angels in 2009. He played in 150 games in RF for the Yankees last season and he only made two errors but showed below average range. He did have 10 assists while playing RF last season but the Angels just hope he can handle the routine plays in the field. The reason they signed Abreu was for his bat. He played in 156 games for the Yankees last season and he was 180 for 609 (.296 avg, .842 OPS) with 100 runs scored, 20 homers, 100 RBIs and 22 stolen bases. Look for him to be a impact hitter in the Angels lineup more than replacing the departed Garret Anderson’s numbers.

Gary Matthews, Reggie Willits or Terry Evans would likely replace Abreu when he needs a day off. Matthews played in 37 games in LF for the Angels last season and he made 2 errors while surpisingly showing below average range. Willits didn’t make any errors in LF while playing 30 games there but he also showed below average range.

26-year old righty swinging Terry Evans is running out of time to still be considered a prospect. He played in 50 games in Rookie+ AAA ball last season going 52 for 186 (.280 avg, .790 OPS) with 36 runs scored, 5 homers, 23 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. Evans played in 8 games in 2007 for the Angels in which he was 1 for 11 (.091 avg, .595 OPS) with 3 runs scored, 1 homer and 2 RBIs.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B+

Juan Rivera will likely get his big chance in 2009 for the Los Angeles Angels

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 15 March 2009 at 12:18 pm

The Angels re-signed 30-year old righty swinger Juan Rivera to starter type money meaning he will likely get his big chance as the full time DH for the Angels in 2009. He played in 89 games for the Angels last season and he was 63 for 256 (.246 avg, .720 OPS) with 31 runs scored, 12 homers and 45 RBIs. He has played in 555 games in his major league career and he has a batting average of .284 with a .799 OPS so the Angels are expecting good numbers from him in 2009. Think 25 homers and 90+ RBIs as long as he plays full time.

Veterans Vladimir Guerrero, Bobby Abreu and Chone Figgins could get some at bats here as the Angels try to keep them healthy.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B

The Los Angeles Angels could go in a couple different directions at 3B for 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 15 March 2009 at 12:14 pm

The Angels could go the safe route and give the starting 3B job to 31-year old switch hitting Chone Figgins OR they could give 24-year old righty swinging Brandon Wood the starting job and make Figgins into a super utility man like he was when he came up. Figgins played in 116 games for the Angels last season and he was 125 for 453 (.276 avg, .685 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 1 homer, 22 RBIs and 34 stolen bases. He has improved defensively at the hot corner as he only made 6 errors there while showing average range in 105 games last season for the Angels. No matter what the Angels decide to do at 3B look for Figgins to get at least 500 at bats as long as he can stay healthy.

24-year old righty swinging Brandon Wood was once known as a super prospect but the gleam has left him the last couple of years. He played in 55 games for the Angels last season and he was 30 for 150 (.200 avg, .551 OPS) with 12 runs scored, 5 homers, 13 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Wood only made 2 errors in 32 games at 3B for the Angels last season while showing pretty good range. He also played in 103 games in AAA-ball in which he was 117 for 395 (.296 avg, .970 OPS) with 82 runs scored, 31 homers, 84 RBIs and 6 stolen bases. It might make sense to start Wood at 3B if he has a good spring as the Angels need to replace the power of departed Mark Teixeira.

32-year old Rob Quinlan is still around to back up whoever starts at 3B for the Angels in 2009. He played in 68 games for the Angels last season and he was 43 for 164 (.262 avg, .637 OPS) with 15 runs scored, 1 homer, 11 RBIs and 4 stolen bases. Quinlan’s not the best defender in the world however as he made 4 errors in 39 games at 3B while showing below average range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B-

The Los Angeles Angels will likely go with the same two guys at shortstop in 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Monday 9 March 2009 at 11:21 pm

25-year old Erick Aybar and 28-year old Maicer Izturis are both switch hitters who will likely share the shortstop position for the Angels in 2009. Aybar played in 98 games for the Angels last season and he was 96 for 346 (.277 avg, .698 OPS) with 53 runs scored, 3 homers, 39 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. Aybar made 18 errors in 96 games at shortstop last season for the Angels but he still showed good range.

Maicer Izturis played in 79 games for the Angels last season and he was 78 for 290 (.269 avg, .691 OPS) with 44 runs scored, 3 homers, 37 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Izturis showed average range in 52 games at shortstop last season for the Angels while making only 2 errors.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: C

The Los Angeles Angels need a healthy Howie Kendrick in 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Preview for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 1 March 2009 at 7:07 pm

25-year old righty swinging 2B Howie Kendrick is the complete package as he’s a good hitter and defender, but, he always seems to get injured. Kendrick played in 92 games for the Angels last season and he was 104 for 340 (.306 avg, .754 OPS) with 43 runs scored, 3 homers, 37 RBIs and 11 stolen bases. Kendrick also shows good range in the field and he only made 4 errors in 92 games at 2B for the Angels last season. I really believe that Kendrick could win a batting title soon if he can just get enough at bats to qualify for it.

24-year old righty swinging Sean Rodriguez will likely start 2009 in AAA as he didn’t play too well for the Angels last year. He played in 59 games for the Angels in 2008 and he was 34 for 167 (.204 avg, .593 OPS) with 18 runs scored, 3 homers, 10 RBIs and 3 stolen bases. He only made 2 errors in 51 games at 2B last season for the Angels but he didn’t show much range. Unless something happens to Kendrick, Maicer Izturis or Erick Aybar, I think Rodriguez will spend most of 2009 in AAA ball. He played in 66 games in AAA ball last season and he was 76 for 248 (.306 avg, 1.042 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 21 homers, 52 RBIs and 4 stolen bases.

28-year old Maicer Izturis and 25-year old Erick Aybar are both switch hitters who are battling for the starting shortstop job. The loser of the competition will probably back up at SS, 2B and 3B for the Angels next season. Izturis played in 23 games at 2B last season for the Angels and he made 2 errors while showing outstanding range. Aybar played only 2 games at 2B last season and he didn’t make any errors.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B

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